Eyes on New York crown

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 07:00 |
World Half Marathin record holder Geoffrey Kamworor after winning the 2017 New York marathon. PD/FILE

 By Amos Abuga and Ericson Kiprono

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor is planning to lower the course record at Sunday’s New York Marathon just a month after setting a new World Half Marathon record in Copenhagen.

Kamworor, who set a new world half marathon record of 58:01 in the Danish capital last month, has eyes on compatriot Geoffrey Mutai’s course record of 2:05:05 set in 2011.

Inspired by stable-mate Eliud Kipchoge, whom he has been training with for the last 10 years, Kamworor is confident of lowering his personal best of 2:06:12 in the process.

“I am going with my friend Eliud’s mantra of ‘No Human Is Limited’. For someone I have known and admired for 15 years, I believe in his work ethic, he inspires me each day,” said Kamworor of Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder who shocked the world by running 42km in less than two hours in Vienna, Austria on October 12.

The two-time IAAF world cross-country winner lost his New York crown to Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa last year but is keen to reclaim it this time around.  “I have been preparing for the race long enough. I missed the World Championships in Doha to give myself time to put more focus on the race. I want to assure Kenyans that I am ready to go,” said Kamworor, who expects a tough challenge from Olympic silver medallist Desisa and his Ethiopian compatriot Shura Kitata who finished second last year.

In the women’s race, four-time winner Mary Keitany is targeting a fifth title in the ‘Big Apple’ but will face off with former world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei also from Kenya and American Des Linden.

Kosgei will be making her full marathon debut in New York but Keitany is ready to make history.

“I am ready for the challenge and to defend my title. I know it’s not easy, but I’m certain the three months’ training I have undergone will enable me do my best,” said Keitany.

Keitany became only the second woman in history to win the New York Marathon four or more times when she triumphed last year, following successes in 2014, 2015 and 2016, to join Norwegian great Grete Waitz, who claimed nine titles between 1978 and 1988.  Joining them at the start line will be a strong group of 2020 Olympics contenders from the USA in Allie Kieffer, Sara Hall and Kellyn Taylor.

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